Thursday, July 19, 2012

Cauliflower Soufflé--Easy and Fluffy

I have always been attracted to all kinds of soufflés. Making them has been a culinary challenge and eating a reward. I have already tried to make the sweet ones, among others chocolate and lemon soufflés, and on my list is also a cheese soufflé--the king of spicy soufflés. Soufflé can be made of almost anything, including a whole variety of vegetables. The best for this purpose are the starchy and not too watery ones.

But there are two major problems when it comes to soufflés. They are based on béchamel sauce and that takes extra work and experience, and need to be served immediately after baking or will sit down while cooling.

The other day, while collecting all the information on soufflés I found a very interesting recipe for a cauliflower soufflé. It was different than all the others and was made of just cauliflower and eggs without the béchamel base. I decided to give it a try. The dish turned out great. It was much lighter than any regular soufflé and it was easy to make in no time at all. Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside served with green lettuce or tomato salad made a delicious summer, vegetarian dinner.

Cauliflower Soufflé
(serves four)

1 large cauliflower about 2lb,
4 medium eggs,
1 cup Gruyère or sharp cheddar cheese,
3 tbsp melted butter, plus an extra tbsp to grease the baking dish,
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg,
salt and freshly ground pepper.

1. Cut out cauliflower florets leaving the stem. Cook them until soft in a large pot of water with a tbsp of salt. Drain them well on a colander and cool down a bit.
2. Preheat oven to 400F.
3. Mash cauliflower using a food processor or potato masher. Add egg yolks, cheese, melted butter, pepper, nutmeg, and mix well.
4. In a large bowl beat egg whites until stiff. Incorporate them into the cauliflower in three batches.
5. Grease with butter a 9-inch round oven proof dish with higher walls. Pour the cauliflower mixture in it.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top becomes lightly brown.

Serve accompanied by green or tomato salads.